A little bit personal and a little bit of a ramble…
Today is the first day back to school in my district. Well, rather, the school district where I live. I am no longer a teacher, nor do I have a child enrolled in the schools. My only child is well and truly grown. So is it really “my” district?
Language matters. In this wording I acknowledge that I cannot let go of the idea that MY district is being a bunch of assholes where it concerns the health, safety, AND education of children and teachers. This is still affecting me and my community. Our COVID cases are still rising. We had a record number of hospitalizations over the weekend. And we have over 1009 deaths a day in my county.
My spouse is among the teachers, but I am not. There was a week’s supply masks purchase. There was also a week’s supply of SCRUBS, so that he changes from his clothes before reentering the house. We both have elderly parents in poor healthy, and he himself is at-risk, but he is still required — REQUIRED! — to be face-to-face with students for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Masks were made mandatory. But if you think a dress code violation is handled with any sort of stringency, you’d be sadly mistaken. There will be arguments and then teachers will just give up trying to enforce it.
“Don’t send your child to school if they are sick” has been reiterated. But my spouse and I both KNOW minimum wage parents in the past who had to get to work and gave their child two aspirin and sent them off to school anyway. The child TOLD us, just before they threw up. The schools are ALWAYS, ALWAYS petri dishes of infection. Regarding COVID, the district “may” (yep, that’s the actual language in the contract) provide 2-3 days paid time off if the school has to close due to a child’s infection (“or death”, that was mentioned just causally too). But teachers “must” (and yep, that’s actual contract language too) use their own sick time if they get sick. But other than mandating masks and “socially distanced” classroom set ups, the District has not fully implemented any CDC guidelines for minimizing the spread of COVID-19. Some schools have opened doors to “improve circulation” and others have given their teachers hand sanitizer.
As I tweeted out this morning, my at home tasks list for the week are: do some book buying for the prof I’m PA’ing for, complete edits for another author, write 10k on my own story, and, finally, keep my spouse from going insane.
I’ll report back if my spouse is still working at the end of the week.